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JBR, 2 weeks in Phuket part 2

ACT
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162 posts
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JBR, 2 weeks in Phuket part 2

Restaurants:

Holiday Inn Buffet dinner: To expensive for what you get, if you are not a huge eater. I certainly do not get my moneys worth from here. Food is lovely do not get me wrong, but at 1600BTH excl all taxes, it is quite costly

Terrazzo: Located in the Holiday Inn, it is a nice place to eat overlooking the beach and the food is not too badly priced. They do have kids menus that include drinks and the means are quite large for the kids. I find that a bowl of spaghetti bolognase would feed my 2 girls.

The Banana: Located on Soi 2000 yr road, behind the Holiday Inn. This place was ok, reasonable priced food and it was ok. Watch out for the swapping of beer ion the coasters. My husband would ask for Heinekin and he would always get Singha or Chang and the get charged for the imported stuff. It happened quite often in a lot of places. Tofu was a bit funky and gave my hubby a sore stomach.

Sweets: I know I will probably get slammed for this, but I found this place to be over rated. The prices seem to be consistent with other local restaurants, but I felt that the food was really ordinary. The girls wanted a hamburger and it was really dry. I do not know how many times that meat patty was re-heated, but it was quite bad. The curries were nothing special either. We only ate there once.

Phuket seafood restaurant: Located closer to the Beach Road, closer to Bangla road. This place was good for seafood and it was a nice place. Most of these seafood restaurants are pretty much all the same. 2200BTH for 2 decent sized lobsters, fried calamari, spring rolls, chips, seafood cocktails, 2 fantas, 1 diet coke & 2 Heinekins.

Sabai Sabai: Our personal favourite! We ate here as much as we can. It was our favourite during our honeymoon and we were hoping that it had survived the tsunami. The prices are great and the meals were always lovely. They also do take away, which is really handy for those nights that you do not want to go out but want good local food at the fraction of the cost of ordering room service. We did this a number of times. It was great to get some great curries & stirfries and just sitting on the balcony chilling out and watching the world go by.

Hilltop café: Fantastic and worth the trip to Phuket town. The view is great & so is the food.

Phuket down town restaurant: Another great place in Phuket Town. Real authentic Thai cuisine. Ask Mr Mor to take you there. And right across the road there is a local market (clothes etc). Mr Mor said his customers the previous day spent 2 ½ hours in there shopping, so I guess it must be good.

Hagen Daas: DO NOT GO THERE!!! What a rip off! Approx $10AUD for 2 single ice cream cones for my daughters. Definitely not worth it.

Swensens: In Jungceylong. If you want good ice-creams and sundaes at reasonable prices, then go here. We bought 2 sundaes for our girls: 2 scoops of ice cream, with whipped cream, wafers and a take home ‘helicopter’ sundae bowl with lid and spoons for only 59BTH per sundae. Huge mega sundaes for approx 110BTH. Look out for the Coit Tower! We could not stop laughing……..hehehehe

Pizza place: This was at the end of Bangla, similar to Pizza Hut, expensive approx 1100BTH for 2 pizzas, 2 beers, 3 softdrinks & garlic bread. But by the end of it all the girls (and us) just wanted western food.

Coyotes: Great view and not badly priced. 5-7pm happy hour nagaritas (buy 1 get 1 free).

Patong OTOP Restaurants: Any one of these are great value and seem to be where the locals eat. Meals start at around 60BTH for stir-fries & curries. If you walk out of the Holiday Inn’s main entrance you can’t miss them. They have a small road going down beside them.

ATMS: They are everywhere! I was so worried about using my cash passport and finding ATMS. But there are so many of them you will not have a problem at all.

Massage: There was only 1 place that I would go to and that was Let’s Relax Spa. They are located on 2000 yrs road (Ratuchut Soi. Sp?) They are really good. The atmosphere is so relaxing. They give you green tea and bickies. The price is 1600BTH for a 1hr relaxing oil massage, 400BTH for 45min foot reflexology. I feel that with this you get what you pay for. I tried going to other cheaper ones, but I could not bring myself to actually go to them. The ladies at Let’s Relax really know what they are doing.

Shopping: As hard as it is to believe, I hardly did any shopping. I found the fake bags to be pretty bad. I would rather have 1 real bag than 10 fakes. But that is just me. If you like them, they are truly everywhere. Some even had signs about their secret rooms.

Cathy and others can give you prices. I did find that beach road would be cheaper and less aggressive. I found OTOP sellers to be too aggressive. I know that they are not the locals, but they would not really haggle with you here. They would start with ridiculous starting prices and if you refuse, they would yell at you. I, in the end refused to go back there. Not a good shopping experience for me. I have been to numerous Asian countries where haggling is the norm, so I am not a novice at this, but I found OTOP to be like this. Talking with others about this, I cam across a lot of people who felt this way too.

Summary:

We were disappointed with Phuket this time around. I know that places change, and after 9 yrs one would expect change. But to us it has lost its charm, Patong is a tourist trap.

On one night a taxi driver grabbed the bottom of my 7 yr old! She was mortified and both my husband & I were livid! I thought “this is it, I am going to have some diplomatic issue and my husband in a Thai prison for punching this guy up!” The taxi driver admitted to grabbing her like it was nothing wrong. It certainly left a bad taste in my mouth.

We have come to the conclusion that even though Phuket holds such a special place in our hearts (our honeymoon), we will never return. The changes it has undertaken are not to our personal liking. We are not going to slam it. It’s just not to our taste anymore.

If you have any questions or want further info shoot us an email.

Cheers & Happy Travels

T4

Adelaide, Australia
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2,803 posts
7 reviews
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1. Re: JBR, 2 weeks in Phuket part 2

Great JBR! I agree with you... after travelling through all of Thailand, Phuket was my least favourite part ... I am heading back to Thailand for 6 weeks in Feb 08 but only intend to spend 3/4 days in Phuket (so my friend can see it, as she hasnt been to Thailand before)...

While I enjoyed aspects of it, alot of people do not realise what they are missing out with the rest of Thailand when all they do is spend their holiday at Phuket!

If you love Phuket people, venture further off the beaten track and be blown away!

Reet xx

Miranda, Sydney
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3,347 posts
39 reviews
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2. Re: JBR, 2 weeks in Phuket part 2

Hi T4,

That was an excellent report - of course you can be honest with your comments on Phuket - luckily we have not lost our love for it yet, and we will be back there in 5 weeks, as well as to Koh Samui, which will be a first for us. When we can put in some more time in the future, we really want to have a look at "off the beaten track" places - I think most people are only in Thailand for a short while, so it leaves little time to venture out into the less commercialised parts of Thailand.

Cheers,

Sandy

Melbourne, Australia
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661 posts
5 reviews
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3. Re: JBR, 2 weeks in Phuket part 2

Thanks T4 for your honest reports. They were a great read. Your not the only ones that feel as you do. Thankfully I'm not there yet either, and can't wait to return.

I have taken your restaurant tips on board and will definitely try Sabai Sabai next time.

Hope Hubby and Blossom have recovered from their ordeals. What a way to end a trip!!

Hope you can find somewhere special for your next family holiday, minus the dramas of course.

Cheers

Jubby

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Phuket
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2,093 posts
84 reviews
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4. Re: JBR, 2 weeks in Phuket part 2

Hi T4,

Good honest report, its strange how places change as Cathy mentioned in one of her reports that Patong O Top's shop keepers were aggressive but they were fine on the beach road.

11months ago when we were there we found it the exact opposite.

We are back in 5 or so weeks and although we are based in Patong we are going to travel around this time to try and see the real Phuket.

Thanks for sharing your information with us.

Cheers, Pete.

Gold Coast
2 posts
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5. Re: JBR, 2 weeks in Phuket part 2

I love Phuket and go every year, but I agree with you. Every year we go back it has changed a little bit(for the worst I think). It was a totally different place before the tsunami(alot of indians and nepalese moved on to beach rd). I still love phuket and am going back in 4 weeks time. This will be my 4th trip in a row so the changes arent that big, but if I didnt go back for 9 years, well I may not like it either.

Thankyou for a very honest report and good luck on your future overseas adventures, where ever they may be.

Regards

Mal

London
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773 posts
3 reviews
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6. Re: JBR, 2 weeks in Phuket part 2

Thanks for a great JBR. I must admit that, although we love Phuket, it IS very commercialised almost everywhere... and we really don't like Patong! Would love to travel round the rest of Thailand (eg Chiang Mai, Ayudthaya) but our children are still quite young and we'd be a bit nervous of getting too far off the beaten track. Phuket has been a really good starting point for us, but we hope to become more adventurous in the future. One day...

Perth
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1,955 posts
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7. Re: JBR, 2 weeks in Phuket part 2

Hi T4,

Thanks for your report, very honest and easy to read.

After 9 years there would have been heaps of changes for you.

We will definately try Sabai Sabai and the hill top Restaurants next time.

Cheers,

Stewie.

ACT
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162 posts
1 review
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8. Re: JBR, 2 weeks in Phuket part 2

Thanks guys,

This trip has not put us off Thailand, not in the least. It is just that Phuket is now off that list of places to see.

I knew about the tailors and the whole "tuk-tuk' "massaaaaage" was there, but this time it was completely overwhelming. The only saving grace was that we speak another language, so we did not speak english out in the street and walking past the tailors and hearing them trying to guess what nationality we were was funny. We got:

Greek

Russian.

NZ

Italian

I think they went through the atlas, but they never once said Spanish.

In the end though it was enough and we found that actually walking on the beach side of Beach road more relaxing.

We have decided that our next trip will be to Europe. So I will take a well deserved break from my holiday planning (I wont admit to him that I am already planning the Europe holiday! ) for about 12months and the go to Europe holiday planning mode in full force.

But if you have any questions I would be more than happy to answer them for you.

Cheers

T4

Australia
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1,474 posts
96 reviews
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9. Re: JBR, 2 weeks in Phuket part 2

Hi T4, thankyou for your JBR, I enjoyed reading it. Don't blame you for the way you both felt after the taxi driver incident. Thanks for the tips and warnings and good luck planning your Europe Holiday.

Rene

London
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773 posts
3 reviews
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10. Re: JBR, 2 weeks in Phuket part 2

Phuket still has charm IMO, if you stay away from Patong! We stay at the Cape Panwa in an area that is still pretty unspoilt and relaxing - probably more like Phuket was a few years ago, with just a few restaurants.